Karnataka’s first floating bridge inaugurated at Malpe Beach
UDUPI: Walking over the waves is now a possibility at the Malpe Beach, thanks to newly built floating bridge. MLA K Raghupathi Bhat inaugurated Karnataka’s first floating bridge at the beach on Friday.
MLA Bhat said: "When the team from Hanuman Vittoba Bhajan Mandali came forward to be part of this project, during our discussion, we only asked them about the security. The recent tragedy at St Mary’s Island has hurt us. Following the tragedy, the administration led by deputy commissioner M Kurma Rao held a meeting, and reviewed the security measures taken up. In case mishaps are reported, tourists will hesitate to visit a place. The government has decided to purchase two jet skis to be stationed at St Mary’s Island and Malpe Beach, that will be used for patrolling. The priority of the administration is to provide security at tourist destinations, and generate employment for local youth."
"The local youths who are part of this project, have assured that 20-25 lifeguards will be present at the beach. This will enhance security at the beach. Tourists always expect something new," he said.
The district administration and Malpe Beach Development Committee will support initiatives taken up by local youth, as such initiatives not only attract tourists to a place, but also provide employment. Tourism development should lead to local employment, he added. Former minister Pramod Madhwaraj was present.
The floating bridge is 100m in length and 3.5m in width, with railings. A total 10 lifeguards will be present, and 30 lifebuoy rings will be placed on the bridge. The floating bridge has been built at a cost of Rs 80 lakh. The project is supported by Sudhesh Shetty, leaseholder, Malpe Beach and proprietor, Dial Mantra; Shekar Puthran, businessman and Dhananjaya Kanchan, president, Ayyappa Swamy Temple, Malpe. A visitor will have to pay Rs 100, and can walk on the bridge for 15 minutes, while wearing a life jacket, said Sudesh Shetty.
After the monsoon, there are plans are to extend the length of the bridge by another 50 metres. Beach activities will resume by the end of September, he added